Sony Electronics Inc. (SEL), the headquarter of Sony's electronics business in the North America, which is located in San Diego, California, the United States, has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. SEL recently shared its commitment to diversity by supporting professional women, granting the wish of a young girl with cancer, and reminding the community that Sony not only has amazing products; but is also an employer of choice. On Monday, March 14, 2016, the North San Diego Business Chamber kicked off the 6th Annual San Diego Women's Week. This annual event drew over 1,500 women and 50 companies to participate in a week of events designed around inspiring, empowering and connecting women. This event has become so popular, its reach has expanded beyond San Diego to neighboring counties. SEL made multifaceted contributions as an advocate sponsor, planning participant, panel expert and exhibitor.
In the weeks leading up to the events, Cathy Wozney and Carole Samuelson from Human Resources contributed to the planning community as the Business Chamber prepared for each event. As a sponsor, SEL was awarded tickets to all four of the week's events, which were shared with employees in the San Diego area. On Monday and Fridays' events, there was an exhibitor hall where the SEL team, Angela Burnette and Carole Samuelson, showcased a collection of Sony products to include 4K television, High-Resolution headphones and WALKMAN®. Between panels and featured speakers, attendees eagerly learned about the new technologies Sony has created in both vision and sound. Attendees also discussed Sony's upcoming 70th anniversary and the presence in the San Diego community for over four decades.
The week concluded with a sold out Inspirational Conference featuring key note speakers Amy Cuddy, Harvard professor, author, and presenter of the 2nd most-viewed Ted Talk ;Kim Coles, actress, comedienne and author; and Padama Lakshmi, author, former model, and host of Top Chef. In addition, Michiko Araki, Vice President of Marketing Operations of SEL, spoke on a panel titled Breaking Barriers. The panel featured successful professional women who discussed their rise to success, setbacks, and invaluable lessons they learned along the way. Araki encouraged over 500 attendees to be true to their authentic selves and strive to achieve objective skills that make their value indisputable. When asked about the cliché of "having it all," Araki stressed the importance of balance. "I make constant decisions about what to do, and more importantly, what not to do." Her concluding comments about the feminist movement challenged fellow attendees to embrace the positivity of the movement and to keep their eyes forward on the next steps of progress.
The conference closed with a raffle drawing of a Sony's home theater product, Soundbar with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth®. The event featured the "granting" of a young girl's wish from the San Diego Make-A-Wish foundation who visited the Sony booth earlier that afternoon, overjoyed that Sony had decided to contribute to her cause. The Soundbar was raffled off exclusively to attendees who contributed to the Wish. The raffle served to double the day's donations from $700 to over $1400. The event series was a success, and concluded with thanks to SEL for their contributions.